As we head into the first UFC PPV of 2018, there is a lot at stake for the UFC. 2017 was disappointing in regards to PPV sales, and they are desperate for new mainstream stars which can generate the required numbers in the lucrative PPV market.
Stipe Miocic despite being the defending UFC Heavyweight Champion is probably in the same situation Amanda Nunes was when she faced Ronda Rousey, where the company here would prefer Ngannou to win, certainly Miocic believes that is the case. Dana White said in October last year that Ngannou could be the next big thing, he might be right.
But is everybody underestimating Miocic, with a MMA record of 17-2 and two successful defences behind him, Miocic should not be over looked. With a background in boxing and wrestling he might be to rounded and to experienced for Ngannou.
Miocic 35, hasn’t tasted defeat since 2014, when Junior Dos Santos won a decision over him, Miocic showed in his last fight when he brutally destroyed Dos Santos inside a round, how much of a different animal he is today.
Ngannou 31, and with a 11-1 record could be something very special indeed, with seemingly mythical type power which could resonate with the mainstream public much like Mike Tyson did when he first burst on to the boxing scene all those years ago.
But Miocic is THE test for Ngannou, we will get to see just how good he really is. Victory for the challenger is by no means certain, and much like Nunes did when she lit Rousey up like a Xmas tree, as Joe Rogan so famously said, Miocic could upset all the plans also.
The trouble for Miocic as I see it, is one mistake is likely to be one mistake too many, one punch and is reign will be over, at some point Ngannou will land, and I think the title will indeed change hands, and the UFC will have its next big thing.